AUGUSTA — There was one last box to check off for the Biddeford High softball team. In the Class A final Saturday afternoon, the Tigers took care of that final item of business.

Charlotte Donovan struck out 14 and hit a home run, Chantelle Bouchard belted a towering three-run homer to put the game out of reach, and Biddeford defeated Messalonskee 8-1 at Cony High School to win its first state championship since 2016.

Baylor Wilkinson also homered and Hannah Gosselin had a go-ahead two-run single for the Tigers, who finished 18-2.

“We came ready to play,” Bouchard said. “We were ready for this game, and we stayed positive all season. … I can’t describe this feeling. This is one thing I’ve wanted, not only me, but the team has wanted.”

Messalonskee, which got nine strikeouts and a home run from Morgan Wills, finished 9-12 after a Cinderella playoff run. The Eagles were 3-11 before winning their last two regular-season games and then four games in the Northern Maine tournament.

“I’m very proud of this team,” said Eagles Coach Samantha Tunningley. “They worked so hard. They deserved to be here.”

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Biddeford reached the state final last year, only to fall to Skowhegan. This season, the Tigers were determined to take the final step up the ladder.

“It was a huge motivation for us,” Donovan said. “We (thought) ‘We know what our goal is, it’s set. Let’s reach it,’ and we worked our butts off all season. And it shows.”

The Tigers were locked in. In the first, Bouchard hit a two-out double and Wilkinson reached on an infield single. Gosselin worked the count full, and then rapped a single up the middle to drive in both runners for a 2-0 lead. She eventually scored on a wild pitch to make it 3-0.

“I had a really good feeling when we got those two runs in,” said Gosselin, who also made a diving stop on a single to prevent a run in the first and a running grab on a flair to the outfield to prevent two runs in the fifth. “That was the perfect jump that we needed.”

Donovan helped her cause in the second inning with a drive over the center-field wall for a 4-0 lead.

“That felt so good,” she said. “I was just thinking, please go with this ball. Don’t pull your head, don’t drop your shoulder.”

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Wills homered to get Messalonskee on the board in the fourth, but Biddeford broke it open in the sixth. Donovan and Laura Perreault reached with one out, and Bouchard crushed a pitch over the left-field wall for a home run and 7-1 lead. Wilkinson followed with another homer just left of Bouchard’s, making it two straight seasons in which she homered in a state final.

It was plenty of support for Donovan, who allowed five hits and struck out the side to end it.

“She was just so damn focused today,” Biddeford Coach Mike Fecteau said. “I think those home runs by Chantelle and Baylor helped her get over the top.”

The Tigers had more than last year’s title game defeat for motivation. Fecteau’s six-year old grandson, Tanner, is in the hospital with leukemia, and the team wanted him to touch the trophy.

“These girls really wanted to win for him,” Fecteau said. “It brings tears to my eyes, what these girls mean to him.”

Losing in the final inspired Biddeford to get back. Tunningley said she hopes it will have the same effect on Messalonskee.

“They’ll know that they can do it, that they can get to this point. Which is really great,” she said. “I just know that we will have a target on our backs, though.”

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